Why Self Care is a Must for Giving Creative Entrepreneurs
When my fiancé and I first started dating, we loved to ask one another personality-based questions. Like those goofy little Facebook quizzes “ask your boyfriend this and post the responses” (except just for us taking turns).
For example, we might ask one another
If you were an item in Walmart, what would you be?
Who would be the five people on your zombie apocalypse team?
If you won $10,000 to give to someone else, who would you give it to and why?
But the question that I was actually pretty loaded for me was one of the common ice-breaker questions of all.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
At the time, my answer was always the same. I said that I wanted the power to heal others — even if that meant I had to experience their pain. Since, you know, super power science says that you have to have some limitations.
The desire to heal is the plight of the giving woman. We crave to give, give, give to others. We want to take care of them, nurture them, and shower them with love and affection. But, if we’re not careful, we tend to do so at the expense of our own well being. And that's when the real problems hit.
It’s all too common for us to believe that self sacrifice is the way to protect others. And we do the same thing for our business and our audience. By sacrificing your own heart, health, and soul, we think that we are shielding our loved ones from that very pain we experience -or- that we're providing that much more value which will translate to more "success" (however you might define it).
Self Care Isn’t Selfish
But here's the reality of things. As much as we want to give our everything to our business...we can't. It's simply not a sustainable practice.
As giving creatives, we put so much of our focus and energy on taking care of others. We throw our entire person (and sometimes identity) into making sure everyone around us is taken care of before ourselves.
We slave for hours working on blog posts, producing opt-ins, showing up to Facebook groups, and curating the perfect Instagram feed. Yet, remembering to eat lunch or grab our coffee from the microwave (for the fifth time) feels impossible!
As much as we’re taught that taking care of other people is a good quality to have, it’s absolutely not the case if you persistently put yourself at the bottom of your priority list. Because our giving nature is only as strong as we are.
Your business can't flourish if you can barely get out of bed from over-exhaustion. YOU are the greatest asset in your business. Hands down.
The truth of matter is that self care isn’t selfish. Neglecting yourself is. When you consistently neglect your needs, you start to decrease your value.
You’re making a statement about yourself by saying that you and your needs don't matter. As a result, the amount you can actually give dramatically decreases. Like they say, you can't pour from an empty cup.
Neglecting your needs isn’t just about making small sacrifices here and there. It creates lasting effects. De-prioritizing yourself resonates into all aspects of your life. It means persistent illness and health troubles because you keep thinking oh, I’ll get that checked out sometime but I can't right now.
Neglecting you means strained relationships with friends, family, and loved ones because you’re constantly too burnt out and can't enjoy meaningful time together.
And most important to remember, neglecting yourself doesn't just affect YOU. As a giving woman, you're using your business as a vehicle for change. You're business is making you a part of something greater than yourself. Plus, I know we get so much of our fulfillment from giving to others and our cause.
Neglecting yourself is less time with your kids because you’re constantly in pain from health issues. It’s feeling like your spouse is a roommate more than a partner because you’re not energized enough to work in your relationship, let alone on it.
It’s throwing all your dreams and passions into the black hole of depression because your mental health isn’t being treated as important enough to be nurtured and cared for.
Without being able to give to yourself, you're putting your business and your life on standstill.
Self care isn't just something you should do. It's something you HAVE to do. Yes, self care is a non-negotiable, my friend. It's exactly why they say to put your oxygen mask on FIRST before you help others. You can't even dream of saving someone else if you're starving for air.
And I want you to breathe!
Self care isn't about being selfish. It’s not about taking you away from the ones you love or putting less work into your business.
Self care is about bringing THE BEST version of yourself to the world. It's about making sure you're fueled, energized, and inspired so you can be the best friend, wife, mother, entrepreneur, and pure YOU that you can be.
And even more, so that you can accomplish all the things you want in life and be who you are. Because I know you have dreams and I want you to make them happen!
Now, if you feel yourself thinking...Wow, this is totally me. But how do I even begin to think about stopping this cycle of self sacrifice in the first place?
I’ve got you covered, friend. The most important step now, is identifying that you need to make a change. And I am so proud of you for taking that step. Because I know it can be so scary! But if you know it’s time for change and a different way of life, there are my top three tips for getting started with self care.
Beginner’s Steps to Self Care: Tips for the Natural Giver
One: Action > Wanting
There are two kinds of people in this world. There’s those that want and those that do.
The people who want only get as far as wishing their situation was different. Sure, they want to live a life where they prioritize themselves. They want to start a business. They want to change their business and be more fulfilled. But at the end of the day, they don’t take steps to make that happen.
But the other type of person, the one like you and me, is the one that does. The one who believes that action is the key to change. We’re the go-getters of the world.
The ones that value action over desire. The difference between these two types of people is that the wanters want and the doers get. As a do-er, you are totally capable of making this change happen!
Self care isn’t just a lifestyle that you should have and must have. It’s a lifestyle that you CAN have! It’s totally within your reach my friend. And I believe in you!
Two: Make Connections + Develop Relationships
Now, experts say that you’re more likely to stick to a weight-loss or exercise routine if you have somebody to do it with you.
With a partner, we have someone to share our journey with, experience the same struggles, and keep ourselves accountable. We know that we aren’t alone in our experience. And really, we all crave validation that we aren’t the only ones experiencing life a certain way.
When implementing a lifestyle change, you’re more likely to make it stick if you have other people working through the experience together. In person connection is certainly preferred and more effective (syncing up with a girlfriend you can cheer on and who can cheer on you).
But online communities are also a way to connect with people you could never meet (around the world!) and have a designated space that you can choose how much you put into it and how much you get out.
Ultimately, connection makes the journey a human experience and not just a you experience. Knowing you’re not alone makes all the difference when it comes to sticking with a long-term change.
So, it’s time to set that coffee date with your bestie that you’ve been waiting soooo long to set. I know that you think she is absolutely incredible! Because she totally is! But what are the chances that she sees herself the same way? Does she see herself the way that you see her? And, do you see herself with the same admiration that she sees in you? That’s the power of committing to self care with other natural givers. You can use your giving natures to build each other up!
Three: Make a Plan + Collect Strategies
Hey, I am all about gathering strategies, techniques, and methods if I want to learn something new (goes back to that action over wanting mentality). If you have a plan of action to take into the future, not only will you gain a bit of control of your journey, but you’re also making it easier on yourself when it feels like you’re losing direction (cuz, hey, it happens!). You’ve already something set in place!
The ideal type of plan is a rinse and repeat style. It’s something you can do once, get small results, then complete again and again to grow in the ways that you want. These types of plans are especially effective because not only do you repeatedly get results, but you continually gain confidence in your ability to follow through with the strategy (even if the area of learning is terrifying!).
If the idea of plans, action lists, and strategies has you drooling, you’re in good company, my friend! Together, we can skip the learning curve, pass up a few growing pains, and get right to the good stuff of how to practice self care. Oh, and we can do it all in bite-sized lessons on your own schedule. Because I know your time is valuable.
I know how much you deserve to make self care a part of your lifestyle. And I’m pretty sure you’re feeling like it’s darn time YOU got to be at the top of your priority list, too.
Isn’t it time we maximized your self care routine? Isn’t it time you finally got to breathe?
If you're looking for direction and clarity for your vision, be sure to snag my audio training on running your business from a place of alignment!